By Clayton B. Reid | Wednesday, 23 March 2022 03:18 PM
This Article First Appeared on Newsmax
Former top White House adviser Ivanka Trump has donated 1 million meals to help relieve the humanitarian crisis caused by the Russian military assault on Ukraine, sources tell Newsmax.
The vital sustenance provided by the daughter of former President Donald Trump is part of a growing, massive underground network that’s serving as a lifeline from Eastern European NATO countries into embattled Ukraine.
Food shortages are now rampant in a nation under brutal military assault. International relief agencies report Ukrainians are increasingly desperate for food. Throughout Ukraine, supply chains have been shattered and store shelves stand empty.
The underground, church-based network providing the supply lifeline extends from Eastern Europe well into Ukraine, and includes areas under sporadic Russian control.
Bishop Marek Kaminski, leader of the Pentecostal churches in Poland, said: “The food is arriving just in time to help sustain the Ukrainian people. We are thankful to Ivanka, Paula, UPS and CityServe.”
Fox News reported Wednesday that the meals are on the way to Eastern Europe. But Newsmax has confirmed they’ve already arrived … and have been transported into embattled Ukraine.
A major distribution effort is planned for Thursday. Specific distribution locations are not being disclosed due to security concerns.
The 1 million pre-packaged meals were prepared and assembled in the United States in Apopka, Fla., in just 24 hours, with Trump spiritual adviser and evangelical leader Paula White-Cain on hand to oversee the extraordinary effort.
She was joined by CityServe International, the faith-based humanitarian relief organization led by co-founders Dave Donaldson and Pastor Wendell Vinson and based in Bakersfield, Calif.
UPS flew the million meals to Europe at no charge, part of the spontaneous, global corporate backlash to the Russian invasion.
The distribution of the meals into Ukraine itself is being managed by CityServe International’s network of local churches throughout Europe. The Pentecostal European Fellowship and local churches in Ukraine and in other Eastern European nations are taking a leading role in the distribution.
Ivanka Trump served as the White House director of the Office of Economic Initiatives and Entrepreneurship during the Trump administration.
She reportedly has a personal connection to the plight of Ukraine. Her mother, Ivana Trump, was born in Czechoslovakia and grew up under the bootheel of Soviet-era communist repression before immigrating to the United States.
“We received those million meals and we’re so incredibly grateful to Ivanka Trump and Pastor Paula White for the generous hearts they have for the hurting,” Donaldson told Newsmax.
In an extraordinary act of bravery, many of the vehicles bringing meals and vital supplies into Ukraine are being driven by local pastors.
After avoiding bullets and shrapnel, and offloading their desperately needed cargo, these pastor-volunteers pick up refugees — women, children, and elders — for the harrowing return trip back across the border. So the lifeline they provide extends in both directions.
CityServe and its partners take the refugees to Church safe houses, in Poland and other neighboring countries, where they receive ongoing support services.
One tearful mother described what it’s like to suddenly find yourself a refugee: “You awaken in the morning in fear. You count days. You live to survive. And you’re under constant fear.
“Why this?” she asked, tears spilling from her eyes. “How can this be?”
CityServe has released a compelling video showing the dire plight of refugees fleeing the massive destruction wrought by Putin’s war.
More food and supplies are desperately needed for beleaguered Ukraine and its resistance, as well as the more than 3.3 million refugees who have fled across the borders of Poland, Romania, Hungary, and Moldova. Another 6.5 million have been displaced internally within Ukraine.
On both sides of the border, refugees, mostly women with children and the elderly, are sleeping on the floors of train stations and shopping malls converted to serve as refugee centers. CityServe outfitted a train station on the Ukraine and Poland border with new cots and bedding.
“Thanks to Ivanka Trump, Pastor Paula White and UPS,” Donaldson said, “we’ve been able to rush those much-needed meals into Ukraine and distribute them. And now we’re calling on all of our fellow Americans to do whatever they can to help us save Ukraine.”
Donaldson added that he’s hoping Ivanka’s contribution of 1 million meals will encourage other Americans to step up and help defend Ukrainian freedom. Every single contribution matters no matter its size, he said, and any donations to CityServe’s Ukrainian relief efforts are tax deductible.
Donaldson, the CityServe co-founder and CEO, just returned from a trip to the frontlines of the refugee crisis at the Polish-Ukrainian border. He joined Ukrainian refugees waiting in 5-degree weather, with snow blowing almost horizontally, in the dead of night, waiting to cross the border. He saw some of the refugees collapse from hunger and exhaustion … they had to be supported so they could trudge across the border to relative safety.
Polish authorities have set up tents at the border for temporary shelter. CityServe Europe matches the refugees to families from local churches who take them in until more permanent housing arrangements can be made.
Donaldson described the extraordinary logistical challenges to Newsmax, as relief workers battle against time and the elements to prepare the infrastructure needed to help millions survive on both sides of the border.
“We’re building out our supply lines with warehouse hubs in Warsaw and beyond,” he said. “We received those million meals and we’re so incredibly grateful to Pastor Paula White and Ivanka Trump for the heart they have for the hurting.”
One ever-present danger for relief workers: the fear that the relief convoys and their drivers will be targeted by the Russians.
“One of the facilities we wanted to use in our distribution network was bombed, and 39 people died. It’s high stakes right now,” Donaldson told Newsmax.
“Vehicles are being deployed all through Ukraine and some of our routes have been destroyed,” Donaldson told Newsmax. “The transportation is critical. CityServe Europe’s transportation system includes vehicles delivering emergency food, supplies, and provisions … and then on the return rescuing and evacuating young women and children. CityServe International and the people of Ukraine desperately need our help right now,” he added.
Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s strategy appears to involve encircling Ukrainian cities, cutting them off from outside help and brutally bombing them into submission with a disregard for human casualties.
EU and Pentagon officials report they have “clear evidence” that Putin’s unprovoked attack includes war crimes against civilians. About 1,000 civilian deaths have been reported so far but the actual number is expected to be much higher.
The Ukrainian army and its resistance fighters are defying the expectations of Pentagon analysts, who initially projected the war would be over in three or four days.
Ukraine is experiencing a growing number of civilian casualties, including children, due to relentless bombing, artillery fire, and missile attacks.
But the Ukrainians continue to hold out against Putin’s bloody onslaught. In some cases, they have even pushed Russian troops back, although Russia’s brutal bombardment of the coastal city of Mariupol continues unabated.
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